When someone moves fast on the field you notice it, when someone stops fast, changes direction or lands from a jump it is not always appreciated, but the way in which you do this can have an impact on your movement speed and help prevent injuries.
Keeping your body balanced, under control and using good movement mechanics is key to improving performance and keeping the forces on your body better controlled to reduce injuries. Knee problems are very common, more so in females through faulty mechanics and can end up with ACL tears. The mechanisms include:-
1. Landing from a jump with legs straight, or
2. Knees caving inward from landing a jump, or
3. Changing direction with a single large step and weight shift over knee
Learning correct movement techniques to reduce strain on joints and muscles together with improving attributes such as strength, balance and co-ordination will help in reducing injuries.
If we run, stop, change direction and re accelerate as in playing soccer or tennis, it is seen as a natural skill that we have developed through the practice of sport and therefore these skills are not taught. But often you will see many different cone drills used where the mechanics are not corrected, building in faulty movement patterns. This can happen when we use cone drills and the athlete leans forward to touch the cone as he/she changes direction to the next cone and the shoulders shift out of alignment with the hips an indication that the weight transfer is not correct but then becomes the normal movement pattern of the athlete with more practice.
Getting the foundations right are very important creating good movement patterns for both acceleration and deceleration movements. But other attributes like strength and mobility need to be assessed and improved as if a muscle imbalance or weakness exists, the structure may still collapse under load.
The athlete has many skills to acquire in the pursuit of sporting success and training only the sporting technique is not enough to succeed.